Review: Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut (PS4)

Slayaway Camp BC_1920x1080_Art_with logo (Custom)

When Slayaway Camp popped up on PC last year, it caught a lot of people by surprise (just like any decent masked serial killer would, mind you). The winning combination of intentionally blocky visuals, Sokaban-style sliding puzzles and optional (but necessary) comic use of gore made the game as fun to play as it was to show off to skeptical friends who initially didn’t see the appeal in such a simple looking game as a horror experience. Well, guess what? It’s baaaaaack and ready for its console close-up, (stab, stab, stab).

Even if you hate horror-themed games, Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut has a sneaky (but not subtle) way of luring you in because those sliding puzzles are really tempting to tackle and you’re hooked in (ouch!) before you know it. Don’t like violence against blocky, block-headed camp counselors and other serial victims? There’s a slider to turn off the pixel “gore” on the options screen. R to PG in a flash? Yep. Hell, there are sliders on that option screen for all sorts of oddball stuff, some of which you’ll see right away while others are intentionally vague. This is a game that aims to please and hits that eye with an arrow every single time (ow!).

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.hack//G.U. Last Recode – Launch Trailer: Time to Deep Dive Back In

 

Good gravy, veteran developer CyberConnect2 is made of of some incredibly busy and possibly crazy (in the best possible manner) people. Those power-packed Naruto games they’ve been doing great work on have set and raised a few bars in the anime to games scene and now, it’s .hack//G.U. Last Recode getting a superb-looking and super-polished remaster, now available on PS4 and PC.  I’ll need to grab this one when I have actual free time as I’ve been a big (but silent) fan of the .hack series since the PS2 days and while I was hoping the originals would get full remakes with new assets and features, this update of the second series will do more than nicely.  So, yeah – go add this one to your want list as it sure is coming in hot and pack to the gills with new stuff.

 

-GW

Slayaway Camp: Butcher’s Cut Brings Humor To Horror In Spades

 Slayaway Camp BC_1920x1080_Art_with logo (Custom)

I was hoping Blue Wizard would get around to getting their runaway PC hit Slayaway Camp onto consoles and yes indeed, it’s finally here to slay. The most murderiest puzzle game ever comes to consoles with hundreds of levels, easy to grasp, hard to master gameplay and loads of killer content (as in loads of killers to choose from and bump off camp counselors and other B-movie fodder in plenty of blocky but gory ways). It’s kind of like Sokoban… but with 100 percent more killing instead of crate pushing!

Key features

Includes the base game and the following additional content: Deluxe Edition, My Gory Valentine, HellCamp, Monthly Murderers Series 1 & 2, Supernatural Forces, and Santa’s Slay
300+ Fiendish puzzle levels to massacre your way through
60+ Killers to cause comical carnage with, including deranged wackos such as Mutant Hillbilly, Kevin, and the killer inter-dimensional clown: THAT
90+ Gorepacks with delightfully OTT kill scenes to shock and entertain
Starring Mark Meer (Cdr. Shepard from Mass Effect) as Skullface and Derek Mears (Jason from Friday the 13th) as Jessica
Genuine hair-metal soundtrack by legendary Canadian group GNÜ TRUNTION
Created by Jason Kapalka (Peggle, Bejewelled), Nate Schmold & Jessi Ross (Cosmochoria) and Ido Yehieli (Cardinal Quest)
Slayaway Camp was recently selected as an overall winner at the annual Google Play Indie Games Festival
Achievements and Trophies (includes Platinum) added for Xbox One and PS4 versions
Localized in the following languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Russian

The game even has a non-violent mode for those of you concerned little Johnny will turn into a hockey-masked murder machine, although I’d say he was already headed there before this game was created. Anyway, yeah – go get this NOW, chop-chop. I just started playing, so a full review will go up over the weekend. As I loved the PC original to death, expect a similarly gushing review.

Okay, I’m out of slasher flick puns. Back in a bit.

-GW

Dragon Bros Hands-On: One Small Bite Helps Make This Little Indie a Big Deal


 

So, yeah. I’m buried under games even more so than usual, but when something cool and FUN like UK-based Space Lizard StudiosDragon Bros pokes me in the eye (ow!) with a free demo I read can be completed in five minutes or less, I have to stop, drop and roll away from my backlog and get some quick hands-on time. That five minutes and twenty-seven seconds it took me to finish the demo build was pretty invigorating to say the least. Yes, they got my vote on Steam Greenlight and I want to see this one get done up right.

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Dragon Bros is a super-charged cute run & gun very much like you’d be playing on the Sega Genesis or SNES (minus that console’s better color palette). Your little dragon with the big gun is out to rescue his mom (in solo play, the game will be solo or co-op), and those robotic dopes shooting back aren’t going to stop him. well, unless you’re lousy at these types of games. As with many old-school games, this one’s a side-scroller where you can’t back up if you’ve missed a weapon pickup or dropped coins. Still, the action is fast paced and a slider on the options screen lets you choose difficulty on the fly. There seemed to be a few secrets just out of reach easily lost when the current screen slid over to a new one. But replaying the map and paying attention to spots where one can jump up to or down from helps out a great deal.

As the game is still early, there are some obvious tweaks that need to be done. The options menu needs some character sprite love for sure. The developers note on the Greenlight page that the game is still a WIP and has a ways to go before completion, but so far, they’re well on the way to making an instant classic in my bookIm.

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Go click away above, try that demo out and see for yourself what’s what. I think this team and these Bros. deserve a shot as well a space in your game library. That, and snapping up the Bros when they hit Steam means THIS can probably get made sooner. Wow.

UPDATE: Okay, I played a bit more and Got my time down a bit, but I need to slide away from this and get back to work. That backlog is staring at me and tapping its fingers waiting. Back in a bit.

Bayonetta 2: A Few Firsts for Nintendo to Celebrate…


 
I got a nice and hearty laugh yesterday thanks to the following email header: “A sexy, all-new action game available now” and that’s because it was an email from Nintendo. I don’t think any of their in-house advertising has previously used the word “sexy” (feel free to correct me here), so that’s what made me laugh so much. From now on, I want Nintendo to find any way to squeeze the word into EVERY game they produce. Let’s see Bayonetta outfits in that next Metroid game (whenever it gets made), the character herself pop up in the new Smash Bros. game, an Amiibo figurine just because she needs one and what the double heck, why not get Princess Peach out of that pink getup and Zelda out of her usual fantasy schmatta and into something more… sassy! er, SEXY!

Oh, the possibilities are endless, folks… Continue reading

Dark Horse’s Comics For Christmas: A (Graphic) Novel Idea!

Dark Horse Comics always has some awesome reads each month, but here’s a list of books they recommend for your holiday gift needs. Personally, I say grab them all, as some folks on you gift list probably don’t even know what actual PAGES feel like (and they haven’t yet invented a “new graphic novel” scent for the iPad, Kindle, nook or other readers and devices).